Residents of western Herat province on Sunday expressed concerns over the increase in insecurity in eight districts and said “insurgents are forcibly implementing their laws in the districts.”
The residents said government's “control” has dropped in Gulran, Keshk Kohna, Farsi, Adreskan, Chesth-e- Pashton Zarghon, Obe, Kehsan and Robat Sangi districts of the province.
The residents added that government forces “only have control of the district centers during the day, but the Taliban are active in most of the villages.”
“Unfortunately, in the evening the people take care of the security of their own houses. This is a serious problem and we are asking security forces to provide security in our areas,” a resident of Robat Sangi district, Massoud Jamshidi said.
Nasibullah Rahimi, a resident of Gulran said: “The Taliban's presence in the district has raised the concerns of the people and we are asking the security forces to destroy the Taliban.”
In the meantime, a number of provincial council members have said that “recently, the Taliban increased their pressure on the residents of the districts.”
“We hope to have a regular plan for the security of the people which is their right,” a member of the Provincial Council, Sayed Azim Kaberzani said.
A number of civil society activists have also warned government that “if security forces do not target the safe havens of the insurgents in the districts, Herat city will also face security threats.”
“The Ministry of Interior must take action against this and must increase the number of security forces in the districts,” a civil society activist, Basir Ahmad Danisyar said.
But, Gelani Farhad, the provincial governor's spokesman has rejected claims of a "massive presence of insurgents in the districts” and said that “government has control in these areas.”
“Unfortunately, the insurgents have activities in a few districts but the residents of Herat must not worry because the security forces are trying to destroy the insurgents,” Farhad said.
The forces have launched a clearing operation in Shindand district of the province and the operation is still ongoing, according to officials.